I’ve never read a book about a homeless person before, so when I saw Where I Live pop up on Edelweiss, I had to grab it. I have incredibly mixed feelings about this book, and I struggled to figure out how to rate it after I read it. Having sat on it for a couple of days, I think I’ve finally figured it out.
On the one hand, it was great to read about Linden, who had been homeless for a while. I’ve never read a YA book that explores poverty in this way, or even to this extent. I wish poverty would come up more in YA, because it’s something that needs to be talked about and put in the spotlight.
I felt huge sympathy towards Linden, who was living on the school grounds and had all of her belongings in her school bag. While she wasn’t relatable because, let’s be honest, who out of us has lived like that? I mean, I was raised by an abused single mother who barely had enough money to buy food each week, but at least I had a house to live in. An incredibly cramped house, but still.
That said, I didn’t really like the book. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the representation, but the book itself was poor. Firstly, I thought the writing was all over the place. The author tried to tackle a serious topic while also including over the top characters and quirky friendships that just didn’t work. The characters’ actions and dialogue was weird.
There was also a lot of domestic abuse, which, again, was great for representation, but not so great for my delicate emotions. I’ve said so many times that I struggle with domestic violence or abuse when it comes up in books and shows, but this is definitely a Me Problem rather than a Book Problem.
Another plus, however, was the gay best friend/almost main character, and the half-Korean American best friend/love interest. Representation!
So aside from the choppy writing (it seriously felt all over the place) and odd dialogue, this was a good book to read. Unfortunately, I have to rate it down because the writing just wasn’t that good, and it really took me out of the story. So I kind of recommend it?